You know the saying ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’?

Well, thank goodness it doesn’t apply to glue pots, that’s all I can say.

Last week I spent the most agreeable of afternoons in arguably Swindon’s greatest pub, which is absolutely oozing with history.

I am talking, of course, about the Glue Pot, in the Railway Village.

It is, always has been, and hopefully always will be what I call a proper pub.

When I was there last week, they had six types of beer and 11 ciders.

If I am lucky enough to prop up its bar in ten years’ time, I bet not much will have changed.

But I fear for what is becoming of other pubs, especially since the pandemic.

During lockdown, when most of us followed the rules, one of the things that got us through it was looking forward to popping down the pub again, when it was all over.

Because of that, and because it was obvious they would need help to recover from the dark days of Covid, I even promised myself I would try to revisit certain pubs I hadn’t been to for years.

But it hasn’t turned out that way.

Whereas the majority of them used to be businesses that sold drinks but also happened to serve food, now it’s the other way around.

A couple of days before visiting the Glue Pot, I visited another pub, as a birthday treat.

And very nice it was too, except a starter of bread with oil and balsamic vinegar was £4, a burger cost £17, and dessert was another £6.

No matter how much you try to dress up pub food as posh food, a burger is still just a burger.

So it now seems silly to talk about ‘going to the pub’ when so many have reinvented themselves as restaurants, with prices to match, and we can only afford to patronise them on special occasions.

I know it is a complex problem, and I understand why a lot of pubs are fighting for survival.

But with so many choosing an escape route that means hiking up food prices, it’s like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Thankfully, that doesn’t apply to the Glue Pot, which - in case you didn’t know - got its name from the pots of glue that woodworkers brought across the road from the Great Western Railway Carriage Works, at lunchtime.

They put them on the pub’s stove to keep them warm and fluid until it was time to go back to work.

If you go in the pub, you can even see a few of those actual glue pots, donated by Swindon railwaymen.

I cannot tell you how much I would love to own one of those.

If you like traditional pubs as much as I do, the Glue Pot is magic.

The rest, I fear, are becoming a luxury I cannot afford.